Four parties have responded to the ITC’s request for statements on the public interest regarding ALJ Essex’s Initial Determination in Inv. No. 337-TA-868 (see our July 2, 2014 post), all addressing the ALJ’s FRAND analysis rejecting arguments against exclusion orders for standard-essential patents and addressing the obligations held by potential licensees. Three of the

Earlier this month, the ITC issued a landmark decision and exclusion order, ruling that certain Apple products should be excluded from entry into the United States because they infringe a Samsung 3G-essential patent.  As we explained in a follow-up post, the ITC doesn’t have the final word, though — by law, the President has the power to disapprove of an exclusion order for public policy reasons.  (This power has since been delegated to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).)  In a high-stakes, high-profile case such as Samsung-Apple, you’d expect the parties to continue the fight at every level — and sure enough, that’s what has happened.

As noted by Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, last week both Apple and Samsung submitted arguments to the USTR.  Mr. Mueller got his hands on public, redacted versions of the documents, which we’ve linked to below:

After the jump, we’ll take a more in-depth look at each party’s arguments.

Continue Reading Apple, Samsung take their standard-essential patent battle to the U.S. Trade Representative

By now, it’s really no surprise to those who pay attention to SEP issues that certain lawmakers have their eyes on the standard-essential patent world, as well.  Although non-practicing entity issues generally grab headlines these days, Congress does make some time for SEPs, too.  One example of this just became public — a May 21

For those of you unfamiliar with the pace of litigation at the U.S. International Trade Commission, it is fast.  Just several days ago, we were writing about the comments on the public interest submitted in Inv. No. 337-TA-794 by Apple and Samsung, the ITC Staff, and several other interested non-parties.  Late last week, Apple, Samsung, and the ITC staff each submitted responses to these initial public interest comments.

Barring unexpected additional submissions from the parties (e.g., a notice of supplemental authority citing Judge Robart’s forthcoming ruling in the Microsoft-Motorola RAND case, which may come down any day), the briefing in this important ITC case should now be all wrapped up.  Now, the waiting game begins — the Commission has until May 31 decide whether it will issue an exclusion order barring Apple products, should it find that they infringe Samsung’s (alleged) 3G UMTS-essential patent(s) (although a ruling could, of course, come before then).

A round-up of and links to the recent responsive submissions, after the jump…
Continue Reading Public interest briefing wraps up in Samsung-Apple ITC battle (337-TA-794) — parties now play the waiting game on exclusion orders and SEPs

In recent posts, we covered the briefs submitted by Samsung and Apple and the ITC Staff in response to the U.S. International Trade Commission’s request for additional briefing in Inv. No. 337-TA-794.  We noted that several other parties also submitted responses, offering their views on how an exclusion order in this case might affect the public interest.  These parties include:

Each of these parties warns the ITC that allowing exclusion orders for FRAND-pledged standard-essential patents may have adverse effects on U.S. consumers and the U.S. economy, particularly future standards-setting activity.  A brief summary of these public interest submissions is after the jump.
Continue Reading A final round-up of new public interest submissions in Samsung-Apple ITC case (Inv. No. 337-TA-794)

If anyone needed more evidence that the U.S. International Trade Commission is paying a lot of attention to standard-essential patents and FRAND-related issues, they received some yesterday.  The Office of Unfair Import Investigations (OUII), a neutral third party who commonly participates in ITC investigations as a representative of the public interest, notified the ITC

Earlier this month, InterDigital Communications filed a Section 337 complaint with the ITC, alleging that Samsung, Nokia, ZTE, and Huawei infringed several of InterDigital’s 3G and 4G-essential patents.  As we noted in our earlier post on the matter, InterDigital included a statement regarding the public interest along with its complaint, attempting to preemptively assuage any public interest concerns the Commission may have due to the inclusion of standard-essential patents in the complaint.  Over the past two weeks, though, the proposed respondents have each filed their own public interest statements with the ITC, asserting a number of reasons why the public interest might be adversely affected by the institution of an investigation based on InterDigital’s complaint.
Continue Reading InterDigital, Nokia, others dispute public interest implications of 3G/4G patent assertions